2016 Serpent Asia Cup report



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The 2016 Serpent Asia Cup which run along side the season finals of the Serpent GT Cup in Hong Kong had been run successfully at the TRC track in Hong Kong last weekend 4 and 5 december 2016. For the 52 drivers enrolled in the GT Modified class and the 103 in the GT RTR class, this race will finally crown the first serie’s champion for both classes.

The Serpent Asia Cup had add two more classes for this special event including the 1/10th nitro touring class and the 1/8th Nitro on-road class. Current 10th scale nitro touring car world champion Dominic Greiner and former IFMAR A-main finalist Takumi Matsuda being invited to the race.

Serpent als brought in their own former world champion and designer: Michael Salven who design the 748 and 977 platform, and Billy Easton who is responsible for the very first Cobra GT, both of them joined the race, Michael oinined the 8th scale on-road class, and Billy enrolled in the GT modified class. The Asia cup also draws drivers from America, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippine, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. With more then 100 drivers all on Serpent chassis, the race are intense yet friendly around the pit area.

In the 1/10 Nitro touring class with all drivers using the Natrix 748 platform, TQ are still up for grabs after 4 rounds out of the schedule 5. Dominic and Takumi are both a serious contender while local drivers Fai Ho taking one round and are also in contention. Due to a late arrival to the track, Takumi’s car doesn’t see any action until the qualify time came, and obviously chasing set ups for the first 3 rounds and constantly improving. Dominic on the other hand is dominating the field and taken the first two rounds. After 4 rounds, Dominic are leading with two rounds win while Takumi and Fai Ho both had one win each. Base on a best 3 out of 5, it all goes down to the last qualify. At the end Takumi was able to secure the last rounds win and beating Dominic on the tie-breaker. Dominic and Fai Ho will line up on 2nd and 3rd place on the starting grid for the finals.

From the very start of the finals, both Takumi and Dominic are starting to pull out from the rest of the field, and everyone knew the winner will be between them. However the competition for 3rd place are fierce, in the early stage of the race, Fai Ho, Huang from China and Shinnosuke are all in for a chance. When the race reach the 15 minutes mark, things started to look very different, Fai Ho and Huang both retired and Shinnosuke suffering from multiple flame out. Local drivers Johnny Lo are now sitting steadily at 3rd place. During mid-race, both Takumi and Dominic elected to change a complete set of tires on their car, and after the tire change, it seems like Takumi had gain an extra gears and started to pull free from Dominic. With only 5 minutes remain on the clock, Dominic’s car started to act erratically and were not able to catch up. When the 40 minutes race are over, Takumi Matsuda will take the race with a comfortable margin over Dominic Greiner, third place went to Hong Kong driver Johnny Lo.

1/10 Nitro Touring Finish order:

  1. Takumi Matsuda(Japan)
  2. Dominic Greiner(Germany)
  3. Johnny Lo(Hong Kong)
  4. Chen Ling Xiang(China)
  5. Shinnosuke Hagmioto(Japan)
  6. Liu Hai Feng(China)
  7. Fai Ho(Hong Kong)
  8. Joseph Evaristo(Philippine)
  9. Li Cong(China)
  10. Huang Yong Xiang(China)

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There seems to be a resurgence of the popularity of 8th scale nitro on-road classes and it shows at the race with 3 full heats for the class wit hall drivers using the Viper 977 platform. Being the 977 series designer and the current German National champion, all eyes are on Michael Salven. The veteran show no sign of age and a lot of drivers take this chance to have a photo taken with the legend. Michael also spend times to share his set up secrets with all the drivers and share his experience with the class. For the qualifier, Michael start out well but suffering some gremlins on the remaining rounds, so the result are not ideal. Another drivers that show sign of very good speed, Cheng from Hong Kong also suffer problems during the qualify rounds and end up P7 for the main. Nelson Lee from Singapore also show good forms with very fast lap time. However the TQ honours goto Felix Law from Hong Kong, although more well known on the EP touring and buggy field, and this being his first taste of the 8th scale on-road class after signing with Serpent, he already shows some very serious speed.

There were drama even before the A final start. Local driver Wadee and Michael Salven both call for a grace period to address the problem with their engines during the warm up period. Glad to see all drivers respond with great deal of sportsmanship and allow both drivers to have ample time to fix their problems. When both of them finally get the car started and commence warm up, everyone at the track are clapping and cheer them out. The start was smooth and Felix were able to lead the way. After the first few minutes, Felix were able to pull out a 10 seconds gap to the then second place Cheng. With 10 minutes pass, Michael’s car suddenly loose power and mechanic rush to the scene and recover the car. After some check up it seems like an engine change are inevitable. Although losing a lot of time, Michael still decide to bring the car back and hope to put on a good show, but the engines was not fitted properly due to rush and he will not be able to race again. During those dramatic time, there are also big changes on track: Felix had suffer a flame out and losing his leading position, Cheng had work his way up and now become the leader with a very healthy gap. With more flame outs, Felix was not able to close the gap and eventually had to settle for 2nd place. Cheng Taki Chee from Hong Kong will be the first to cross the finish line and taking the win in a convincing fashion. Third place went to Wadee after a close battle with Thailand driver Fluke.

1/8 Nitro on-road finish order:

  1. Cheng Tak Chee(Hong Kong)
  2. Felix Law(Hong Kong)
  3. Wadee(Hong Kong)
  4. Fluke(Thailand)
  5. Nelson Lee(Singapore)
  6. Kim Daesik(Korea)
  7. Michael Salven(Germany)
  8. William Chu(Hong Kong)
  9. Fat Wah(Hong Kong)
  10. Seo Byungbo(Korea)

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In the Serpent GT modified class, the 2015 US National TQ winner Billy Easton was showing very good speed even though he did not race the class for more than a year. The title contenders including Nelson Woo, Hui Chin Ho and Samuel Chiuvall had 2 wins in the bags and whoever won this round will be crowned the series champion. Hui’s performance during qualifier are flawless and by winning the first 3 rounds, taking the TQ honour convincingly. After some getting use to the track and the chassis, Billy finally came good in the last 2 rounds of qualifiers and will start the main from 2nd place. Series point leader Nelson Woo will start his title chase from 3rd place.

With a good start, all the front runners are there to fight for the titles but it’s Billy that really are making a statement. Not only did he making fastest lap time, but his consistency are simply amazing, with his fastest single lap and 15 laps average only 0.044s apart! 15 minutes into the race, Billy are nearly 2 laps up on Hui. When everyone thinks it’s a run a way, Billy’s car suddenly weave to one side at the beginning of the straight and hit the track barrier at nearly full speed. The force actually broke the carburettor on his engine and he is forced to retire. Hui then have a clean track in front of him and will eventually taking the win of this class. Starting from 6th place, Kwai Lo from Hong Kong had a steady race and eventually taken the 2nd place. Nelson Woo suffer multi flame out during the race and eventually are only able to finish in 3rd place.

For the yearly point result, Hui and Nelson ending up having the same points and the decisive factor will be Hui’s three race wins against Nelson’s two. With Hui winning and Nelson 2nd, third place will went to Samuel Chiu, with only one point separating him and Kwai Lo.

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GT Modified Final Yearly Point score:

  1. Hui Chin Ho – 499
  2. Nelson Woo – 499
  3. Samel Chiu – 482
  4. Kwai Lo – 481
  5. Picco Lok – 476
  6. Ben Lau – 460
  7. Superman – 459
  8. William Chu – 453
  9. Wai Mak – 437
  10.  Anthony Lam – 429

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The Serpent GT RTR class popularity grows during the yearly series, and the champion will also need to wait till the final rounds to be clear. 4 drivers are into play including Philip Leung, Nelson Woo, Chun Yuk Ming and Siu Ming, and with the four, Nelson are the one who hold the upper hand with 2 wins in the bag. TQ will goto Philipp, and Nelson, Chun, Siu Ming will line up at 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. Jason Choi will start from second place.

As predicted, the 4 title contender had a fierce race during the main. With Philip having a very slight advantage on Nelson lap time wise, then disaster once again strike Nelson: having flame outs 3 times during his pit stop eventually ending his chance for the title, and Nelson eventually will loose out to Chun and ending up at 3rd place. Philip will take the final and at the same time, crucial points for the series.

When all points count, Philip are crowned the champion of the series with a 5 points margin. Nelson Woo once again had to settle for the first runner-up position. With a second place for the round, Chun Yuk Ming became the 3rd place finisher for the series.

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GT RTR final yearly point score:

  1. Philip Leung – 496
  2. Nelson Woo – 491
  3. Yuk Ming Chun – 488
  4. Siu Ming – 487
  5. Jason Choi – 475
  6. Bus Cow – 466
  7. HEC Lam – 463
  8. Wadee- 460
  9. Leung Chi Fung – 446
  10. Fat Kit – 436

The Serpent Asia Cup 2016 was a great succes and the 2017 will be planned soon. Again in HK or maybe in another country in Asia.

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